The hyacinth girl

They said it could not be done, but she’d done it. They had described this patch of land as an arid, desolate waste, impossible to cultivate and more the fool those who made the attempt. But she had persevered, using in equal measure her deep stubbornness and even deeper knowledge of ecological cycles, and now hyacinths grew as if this had been so since time immemorial

“I will show you fear in a handful of dust indeed”, she murmured as she surveyed her accomplishment. Truly, Mars himself had cause to fear her botany powers

Death of the author

“No poetry”


“No poetry this time”

“No poetry”

“Now you get it”

“What brought this on?”

“Last time. That’s what brought this on”

“Ah yes, of course”

“And no creative rewording, either”

“This just keeps getting more and more difficult”

“And no elaborate descriptions of related activities”

“This cannot possible escalate any further”

“It’s a shopping list. One would think there’d be nothing to escalate. Nevertheless, you managed”

Being in the presence

He looked at the time. A smidge past midnight. The night was young, and there were many more hours to go before the train back home departed

Not being one to sit still and await what’s coming, he decided to explore the city streets. They were strangely empty at night, despite there being a literal city full of people surrounding them. Meandering, he finally arrived hours later at the seat of government, a place as devoid of people as everywhere else. Looking at it, he concluded that this space had a power of its own, projected by sheer force of architecture

Tired, he sat down to contemplate this state of things. There were still a few more hours to go

Things escalated

It meowed

It was small. Both the meow and the meower. As adorable as it was, the meow had a very specific message directed at a very specific person:

Carry me up these stairs, human

The cat could easily scurry up those same stairs itself, should it but want to. Indeed, it had been known to do just that when no one was around. But at this very moment, someone was in fact around, so it stood by the stairs and meowed, awaiting the inevitable lift

He sighed, and proceeded to half carry half cuddle the meow machine upstairs. This is how things were now

Dat learning curve

The computer was ancient. A relic. Truly an artifact from the past. There were museums more recent than this hunk of hardware. Yet, somehow, it still worked, by some miracle of the technological gods

He knew that he only had a short window to introduce it. Too soon, and it would be forgotten in the mists of early childhood. Too late, and DOS computing would no longer be something the kids had done as kids. Now was the moment to teach them the Old Ways

By means of helpful introduction, he told the kids not to touch the dot dat files. From the blank looks on their faces, he realized that this was probably not the most obvious starting point of the learning curve

It becomes you

She did not care. Not only was she indifferent to it, her levels of not caring transcended the whole notion of indifference and burst forth into a brand new category of nope. It was as if some metaphysical manifestation of the platonic ideal of not caring had entered into her being so completely that it crowded out all other emotions. This was who she was now, in sum total and to its fullest extent

However, this was still a social situation, and she had to respond to it somehow. So she did:

“Why, do tell where you bought that sweater”

They do start coming

The day began. There was no particular direction to this day, no particular thing to be done, no particular anything. But it was a day, and it had indubitably begun. The only direction from here was forward

As he went through the motions, an email arrived. It brought good news, of the expected but positive kind. Then another email arrived, which was not at all expected but which nevertheless counted as positive. And then a really unexpected email arrived, which seemed a bit excessive but which did indeed contribute to the overall trend

Truly, this had been a day that solved a lot of problems

Sky news

She looked up, and there it was

The sky

This time of evening, the city lights reflected on the overcast cover, giving everything a bronze sheen if you looked at it from a distance. It was peculiar, she thought. Both that the sky could do that, and that people didn’t seem to care too much about it

How do they manage? It’s the sky, it’s right there, staring everyone in the face. Or in their haircuts, she thought, chuckling

There was a secret fellowship in the world, she decided. Those whose faces were known to the sky

Issues big and small

“They might be giants”

“They are giants. Look at the logo, it says it right there. Giants”

“…but the logo is just the letters ‘ny’ in a weird font?”

“Huh. Now that you mention it. Never thought of that”

“So, judged by the logo alone, the only conclusion we might draw is that they, in fact, only might be giants”

“But they are the Giants”

“They could merely be football players of unusual size, though. We just don’t know”

“Now you’re just making references for the sake of making references”

“Magnets. Also, yes”

“Why are we talking about this?”

“You asked me to do the dishes, and I’m stalling”

“If you didn’t, it’d be a once in a lifetime event”

“Nice one”

“Dishes. Do them”

Everything abridged

Night driving. Darkness shrouded everything, except the small piece of everything caught in the headlight. There was still some distance left to go, still so much ground to cover. How could there be so much everything? It all seemed overproportioned, somehow, as if the measurements were off by a magnitude or two

Then, the bridge. A narrow corridor of something in the midst of a whole lot of nothing, stars abound and around. Except, there, someone had painted something, on the bridge, in defiance of traffic and safety, possibly also of reason:

Beware, lest ye be spoiled by philosophers